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Old 03-23-2004, 05:27 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

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Minimum packages needed

I'd like to make a really stripped down version of SUSE9.0 to run on a dual boot laptop ('doze XP and Linux).

All I need are KDE, Konqueror, Open Office, XINE (DVD playing), K3b (DVD / CD writing) Wireless networking, email (Kmail in Konqeror is OK).

I don't need zillions of databases, servers, firewalls, ssh, samba and other zillions of things -- I haven't even got a clue as to what they do anyway.

This laptop doesn't need to have a development platform on it either -- it will be used purely as a mobile office workstation -- eventually Windows XP will be removed.

Anybody got a list of what packages MUST be installed and what can be skipped or removed after the initial installation.

For the work I'm using this laptop for it should be possible to have a very small working Linux system. I shouldn't need to install over 1.5 GB of stuff.

Any other distro would do so long as it meets the initial requirement -- and for a graphical desktop I do prefer KDE to Gnome -- sorry folks but that's my preference.

Last edited by 1kyle; 03-23-2004 at 05:29 AM.
Old 03-23-2004, 05:55 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: germany
Distribution: Slackware & RedHat
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Wow if you call these office package a minimum. However the funny effect is that those servers and all is taking a merely 10% if not less of the space cause it has no gui
So the installation you listed i guess would be done by a SuSE Minimum-Package set (if that is still included in their installation menu)
I dont think there is much more than MySQL in case of databases. If it bothers you you can still do an rpm -e MySQL after the install.
To be honest i would not get into the trouble picking all those small packages which might have ugly dependancies and take so little space.

greetings Chris

Last edited by chris78; 03-23-2004 at 06:37 AM.
Old 03-23-2004, 04:53 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: London
Posts: 548

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LFS ( is a good place to find out about things like this. The idea behind it is that you build your own system from scratch, so reading through the docs should tell you what the baseline packages are.
Old 03-23-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
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If your desktop is at home, and you want to connect to it over the internet from your laptop, then you probably want to use ssh. I don't believe that it takes up too much room. On a laptop with limited space, one probably wants to use a simple partitioning scheme, with a swap partition, and a root partitition. That way, the free space can go to which ever partition needs it.
The 'linuxfromscratch' idea is very good. You might try installing a distro however, and only selecting KDE at the selection phase. Install the other individual packages later rather than installing package groups. This may save space.
In my opinion, the biggist advantage of using a distro, is that they make applying security updates easier. Keeping track of, and installing security patches on your own can be a lot of work and take time.

Last edited by jschiwal; 03-23-2004 at 05:14 PM.
Old 03-23-2004, 07:17 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: In front of my computer.
Distribution: Slack 9.1, Vec 4.0, SourceMage 0.9.2, DSL 0.6
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0

I definitely agree with the Linux-From-Scratch suggestion -- it's a great way to get exactly what you want, but was a bit time-consuming and labor-intensive for my tastes. You might, if you're lazy like me, try Slackware -- it allows you to create your own minimal install. I tried it, and I've lost thirty pounds and gained more than 25% muscle mass. :-)

Lame jokes aside, I had the same problem as you -- I wanted a small laptop distro, wasn't happy with the standard small distros, positively *hate* having to (and don't think I *should* have to) spend time installing / uninstalling stuff to get exactly what I want from the bigger boys, and found that "minimal" big distro installs were rarely that, while simultaneously being hideously crippled, deformed shells of their former bloated selves.

So -- I headed over to slackware-current, downloaded only those parts of the install tree that I wanted (although you really do have to be careful of dependencies), and did a "full install". Worked like a charm -- I have exactly what I need, and nothing that I don't.

You could, of course, go the next step and get Gentoo or SourceMage, which start you off with the needed base, and allow you to build what you want from source (both distros, when doing this, take care of dependencies for you, which definitely offsets having to sit through compilation and download), leaving you with an only-what-you-want Linux that's optimized for your system. Both of these distros can be found via the magical wonder that is Google.

Slackware, though, AFAIK, has most of what you're looking for pre-packaged and ready to install as part of your setup (KDE, Xine, Konqueror, wireless tools, and e-mail -- not sure about k3b or OOffice, though). Check out (the Slackware package browser) and see what they've got.

Let me know if you need me to write any more rambling and only partly informative (let alone factual) posts on the subject, or if you have any questions that I can answer in a confusing manner.

Good luck!



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